Following Buffoons Into Another Doomed War

Gerald Celente, founder and director of  Trends Research, writes:

As bombs fall in Syria, history is not only repeating itself, it’s bearing down on us with lightning speed. Talk of war once again rules the political dialogue. And the general public is buying it – again.

The Sept. 20 headline in the Financial Times says it all: “Americans galvanized for Return to War in Iraq.”

Just a few weeks ago, a war-weary public was complacent on the subject until videos of the beheadings of two American journalists and a British aid worker surfaced. They not only surfaced, they were trumpeted by Prime .Minister David Cameron, President Barack Obama and a host of other political players and so-called experts who — in record time — laid the foundation for a United States strategy to deal with evil ISIS, heightened terror alerts in the UK and infused new energies into fears that 9/11-type acts on U.S. soil were once again just around the corner.

Never mind the summer of bombs dropping on Gaza, blowing to pieces more than 2,000 innocents and devastating the region to the point it will take a generation or more to rebuild. Never mind the dozens who died at the hands of warring factions in Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen or Nigeria. Never mind the scores of Somalis brutally murdered or the two dozen beheadings in Saudi Arabia. Those videos and images rarely made it on the radar, and when they did, they never resonated..

Instead, press conference-driven coverage filled the public airwaves and mindset. Suddenly, a majority believed dropping bombs on ISIS strongholds in Iraq and even Syria was warranted. The beheadings were indisputable proof that ISIS represented a new breed of terror so vile that the civilized world had no choice but to combat it.

Bombs are OK? Beheadings are bad? Is that the message from our leaders we’re willing to accept?

.As hearings unfolded in the US Senate on funding for the ISIS-driven intervention, with the exception of a few brief moments of protest from Code Pink members, the US invasions, occupation and destruction of Iraq that created this violent mess in the first place never took center stage.

That’s not the narrative.

Instead, the press conference-driven media allows the coverage to be framed by well synchronized talking points.

Why do the likes of John McCain, Dick Cheney, Peter King, Lindsey Graham and a stable full of retired generals, whose track records scream sameness and failure in the same breath, have carte blanche to pound the war drums on the media platform of their choosing?

Our trend line in this critical arena has held steady and is, in fact, more essential than ever: The media, despite its inside-the-industry and wholly academic self-reflection on its failings to challenge the reasoning for going to war more than a decade ago, still drive the narrative they are fed from the same morally blinded, strategically deaf leaders that have never — not once — acknowledged the mistakes that have taken the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent people and cost the US trillons.

Without blinking, each and every one of them touts the same failed reasoning for this insanity, only replacing words like Al Qaeda with terms like ISIS.

(Celente also writes for Lewrockwell.com, you can read his articles here.)

Everybody Knows

By Leonard Cohen

Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows
Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
Everybody knows the captain lied
Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died
Everybody talking to their pockets
Everybody wants a box of chocolates
And a long stem rose
Everybody knows
Everybody knows that you love me baby
Everybody knows that you really do
Everybody knows that you’ve been faithful
Ah give or take a night or two
Everybody knows you’ve been discreet
But there were so many people you just had to meet
Without your clothes
And everybody knows
Everybody knows, everybody knows
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows
Everybody knows, everybody knows
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows
And everybody knows that it’s now or never
Everybody knows that it’s me or you
And everybody knows that you live forever
Ah when you’ve done a line or two
Everybody knows the deal is rotten
Old Black Joe’s still pickin’ cotton
For your ribbons and bows
And everybody knows
And everybody knows that the Plague is coming
Everybody knows that it’s moving fast
Everybody knows that the naked man and woman
Are just a shining artifact of the past
Everybody knows the scene is dead
But there’s gonna be a meter on your bed
That will disclose
What everybody knows
And everybody knows that you’re in trouble
Everybody knows what you’ve been through
From the bloody cross on top of Calvary
To the beach of Malibu
Everybody knows it’s coming apart
Take one last look at this Sacred Heart
Before it blows
And everybody knows
Everybody knows, everybody knows
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows
Oh everybody knows, everybody knows
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows
Everybody knows

Christianity and War

Laurence Vance is a prolific writer and author of many books on the subject of Christianity and war. Yesterday he published an interesting book review on Lewrockwell.com on Philip Jenkins new book, The Great and Holy War: How World War I Became a Religious Crusade.  In the article, Vance writes:

One would think that if there is any group of people that would be opposed to war it would be Christians. After all, they claim to worship the Prince of Peace. But such is not the case now, and such was not the case 100 years ago during the Great War that we now call World War I.

I have often pointed out how strange it is that Christians should be so accepting of war. War is the greatest suppressor of civil liberties. War is the greatest creator of widows and orphans. War is the greatest destroyer of religion, morality, and decency. War is the greatest creator of fertile ground for genocides and atrocities. War is the greatest destroyer of families and young lives. War is the greatest creator of famine, disease, and homelessness. War is the health of the state.

Just as it was easy for the state to enlist the support of Christians for the Cold and Vietnam Wars against “godless communism,” so it is easy now for the state to garner Christian support for the War on Terror against “Islamic extremists.” But World War I was a Christian slaughterhouse. It was Christian vs. Christian, Protestant vs. Protestant, Catholic vs. Catholic. And to a lesser extent, it was also Jew vs. Jew and Muslim vs. Muslim.

Although fought by nation states and empires, World War I was in a great sense a religious war. As Baylor historian Philip Jenkins explains in the introduction to his new book The Great and Holy War: How World War I Became a Religious Crusade:

The First World War was a thoroughly religious event, in the sense that overwhelming Christian nations fought each other in what many viewed as a holy war, a spiritual conflict. Religion is essential to understanding the war, to understanding why people went to war, what they hoped to achieve through war, and why they stayed at war.

Soldiers commonly demonstrated a religious worldview and regularly referred to Christian beliefs and ideas. They resorted frequently to biblical language and to concepts of sacrifice and redemptive suffering.

The war ignited a global religious revolution. . . . The Great War drew the world’s religious map as we know it today..

Not just incidentally but repeatedly and centrally, official statements and propaganda declare that the war is being fought for god’s cause, or for his glory, and such claims pervade the media and organs of popular culture. Moreover, they identify the state and its armed forces as agents or implements of God. Advancing the nation’s cause and interests is indistinguishable from promoting and defending God’s cause or (in a Christian context) of bringing in his kingdom on earth.

We can confidently speak of a powerful and consistent strain of holy war ideology during the Great War years. All the main combatants deployed such language, particularly the monarchies with long traditions of state establishment—the Russians, Germans, British, Austro-Hungarians, and Ottoman Turks—but also those notionally secular republics: France, Italy, and the United States.

Christian leaders treated the war as a spiritual event, in which their nation was playing a messianic role in Europe and the world.

Without appreciating its religious and spiritual aspects, we cannot understand the First World War. More important, though, the world’s modern religious history makes no sense except in the context of that terrible conflict. The war created our reality.

(Read the rest here)

Why Fear Anarchy?

Writes the economist and historian, Robert Higgs:

The idea of anarchy strikes fear in the hearts of most people. Their imaginations run wild with scenes of social disorder, violent gang warfare, and unrelieved insecurity. Yet, strange to say, these same people live comfortably in the present world, a world in which states bring relentless plunder, brutal oppression, unjust laws and punishments, gargantuan waste, endless wars, and political measures that generally enrich the already rich and powerful and ensure permanent marginalization of the down-and-out.

Can it be the case that the present state-dominated situation with all its horrors is necessarily superior to every possible stateless alternative? Is the world in its present condition really the best of all possible worlds? Your rulers want you to think so. They tempt you with visions of reform, but the reforms they allow, as a rule, only make matters worse for the masses, who must settle for the delusion that in a de facto one-party state such as the USA their votes can alter either the current situation or the trend of events.

Sensible anarchists do not promise heaven on earth. They understand that even in the absence of the state, the full range of human folly, foibles, and capacity for evil will remain, and hence so will crime and bad behavior of many kinds. What the anarchists do promise, however, is that under anarchy no overwhelmingly dominant organization will exist to suppress people’s decentralized experiments in building better lives founded in freedom, rather than in centralized predation and oppression by an overarching ruling class.

(Click here to read a phenomenal research article by Mr. Higgs on the subject of self-government)

The Unintended Empire and Its Inevitable Plunge

Here’s a few excerpts from Justin Raimondo’s insightful column today on antiwar.com:

All empires fall. None can escape the human reality, which is the certainty of their own mortality. But that doesn’t mean they all fall in the same way, for the same reasons, and at the same tempo.

Americans never meant to create an empire: indeed, their intention was quite the opposite. For empires eventually end in tyranny, and this the Founders knew: they knew that constant wars meant the depredations of government on the home front would inevitably increase. They dreaded the rise of empire so much that they warned against establishing a standing army, for fear it would morph into a permanent class of warriors who, like the Praetorian Guard of Roman times, would pose a direct threat to the free society.

The Founders envisioned a republic that was truly a new kind of system under the sun: free of old Europe’s obsessions with ancient blood feuds, and also bereft of any imperial ambitions of its own. The young country made its debut with its first President’s sage advice in mind: “Nothing is more essential,” said George Washington in his Farewell Address, “than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded.” He warned against “permanent alliances,” and Jefferson agreed: “Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations,” our second President advised us, “entangling alliances with none.”…

This rising ideology of American imperialism had two aspects, one theological and the other secular.

In the early 1800s there arose in New England a new revivalism that augured the rise of evangelical Protestantism as the dominant religious doctrine in this country. It was centered around the idea of post-millennial pietism: that is, the idea that Christ would return to the world and receive his Kingdom only after the earth had been purified and swept clean of sin. In short, it was up to human beings to establish the Kingdom of God on earth – then and only then would Christ consent to return and mankind would be saved. Indeed, they came to believe they could hasten the coming of Christ by reforming the world.

Thus from the beginning the prohibitionist movement and the so-called Social Gospel – support for economic regulation, labor unions, and Big Government in general – were intertwined. Social improvement meant the abolition not only of drunkenness but also of poverty, child labor, sexual promiscuity, and inheritable diseases. The solution: Big Government, which would abolish poverty, outlaw child labor, crack down on promiscuity, and establish a program of eugenics that would sterilize the flawed, the weak, and the criminal element so that only “healthy” children would be born.

And not content to reform their own country, the messianic pietists, both religious and secular, soon set their sights on the rest of the world. Government was their chosen instrument of reform at home, and so it was abroad, where the US military was sent to Christianize and lift up the Cubans, the Puerto Ricans, and the Filipinos. Teddy Roosevelt was the perfect embodiment of their ambitions,: bombastic, moralistic, hectoring, and possessed of a seemingly inexhaustible energy which he utilized in the single-minded pursuit of power, Teddy was the War Party’s perfect leader and symbol.

World War I was the culmination of this trend in American intellectual life: a struggle in which all the strains of moralism, fanaticism, and bigotry swirling beneath the surface of society rose to the top and shot out, geyser-like, from the depths of the American soul. The campaign against alcohol took on patriotic colors as the beer-drinking Germans were demonized, isolated, and often lynched by furious crowds. Alcohol-free zones were declared around all army bases, and drunk soldiers were court-martialed. Alcohol was seen as a subversive substance, planted by German brewers – agents of the Kaiser! – in order to weaken the moral and martial spirit of the country…

The seeds of war had been planted long ago – by theologians who argued that the State is the hand of God, by intellectuals who found it easier to serve the State than question it, and by some very rich men who view governments the way an expert chess player see his pieces: as objects to be moved about on the board to one’s maximum advantage.

It had taken 140 years or so, but the exceptional character of the American nation, which today our court intellectuals and politicians never tire of extolling, was finally lost. Since George Washington’s time, except for a few early excursions into Central and South America, we had pretty much stayed out of the scramble for colonies and global influence that had sparked the First World War. With our entry into the war, and particularly our key role in framing the Versailles Treaty and the postwar settlement, we starting playing the game of empire for the first time.

These were now questions with which American statesmen had to contend, and whatever the answer might be, the effect was to drag us far deeper than we’d ever ventured into the affairs of nations we did not and could not know all that much about. American policy making changed from the pursuit of American interests to the pursuit of “justice,” “world peace,” and other undefined concepts, which the liberal intellectuals wished to impose upon an indifferent world.

READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE HERE

The Big Lie

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” ~ Joseph Goebbels

Once again, the US government is misleading us down another destructive path towards war. The enemy this time is the evil group, the Islamic State (ISIL), who was created and is thriving as a direct result of the same policies our leaders are asking us to support again.

By exaggerating a perceived threat, over-hyping a menace, and rousing up fear in the minds of the people, Washington will get its long planned regime change in Syria. This intervention will also open the door to Iran. ISIS or ISIL, whatever the political class is calling them today, is the pretext to this long held agenda. The recent bombing campaign underway by the United States in the Middle East is not meant to destroy the new terrorist group as the president proclaimed to us the other night. Fighting this enemy, or any so-called enemy, is used as a guise in furthering the elite’s plan of total reconstruction of the Middle East.

Professor Michel Chossudovsky at Global Research explains:

“The objective is not to destroy the Islamic State as promised by Obama. What we are dealing with is a US sponsored process of destabilizing and destroying both Iraq and Syria. The campaign against the Islamic State is being used as a justification to bomb both countries, largely targeting civilians.

The endgame is to destabilize Iraq as a nation state and trigger its partition into three separate entities.

The broader US-NATO strategic objective is to destabilize the entire Middle East- North Africa -Central Asia -South Asia region, including Iran, Pakistan and India.”

This analysis coincides with General Wesley Clark’s revelation of what he was told a few days after 9/11. You can watch the brief 2 minute video below.

I’ll leave you with an important quote by Nazi Politician, Hermann Goering, that sheds light on the power-lusting imperial mindset of warmongering politicians.

“Naturally the common people don’t want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, IT IS THE LEADERS of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is TELL THEM THEY ARE BEING ATTACKED, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. IT WORKS THE SAME IN ANY COUNTRY.”

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“The US Economy is Dead”

This post is from Raúl Ilargi Meijer at theautomaticearth.com:

The topic of potential interest rate hikes by central banks is no longer ever far from any serious mind interested in finance. Still, the consensus remains that it will take a while longer, it will take place in a very gradual fashion, and it will all be telegraphed through forward guidance to anyone who feels they have a need or a right to know. Sounds like complacency, doesn’t it?

Now, it seems obvious that the Bank of Japan and the ECB are not about to hike rates tomorrow morning. In Europe, dozens of national politicians wouldn’t accept it, and in Japan, it would mean an early end to many things including Shinzo Abe.

But the Bank of England and the Fed are another story. Though if the Yes side wins in Scotland next week, the narrative may change a lot of Mark Carney and the City. That leaves the Fed. And it’s important to realize and remember that, certainly after Greenspan entered the scene, speaking in tongues, the Fed has become a piece of theater. The Fed is about perception. About trying to make people believe something, and make them act a certain way that they choose for them.

That’s why after the Oracle left they pushed first a bearded gnome and then a grandma forward as the public face. The kind of people nobody would perceive as a threat. Putting a guy who looks like second hand car salesman in charge of the Fed wouldn’t work.

Not when a big financial crisis looms, and then continues on for a decade and counting. That makes keeping up appearances the no. 1 priority. That’s when you want a grandma, or you’d lose your credibility real fast. You need grandma for your theater, for the next play you’re going to stage.

That market volatility today is at record lows is part of a big play, or a big scene in a play if you will. And the goal is not to make markets look good, as many people think. Making markets look good, making the economy look good, is just an intermediate step designed to lure everyone in.

You make people believe you got their back. All the big investors. Because they make tons of money, while they thought maybe the crisis could have really hurt them. Even the public at large feels you got their back. Because they don’t understand what the sleight of hand is.

The big investors understand, but you got them believing you will play that hand forever, or let them know well ahead of time when you intend to fold. The big investors think you will skim the public, but not them. They think you’re all on the same side. And the public thinks you’re healing the economy, and saving their jobs and homes and pensions.

When rate hikes are discussed, like I did two weeks ago in This Is Why The Fed Will Raise Interest Rates, most people have similar initial reactions. ‘They can’t do that, it would kill the economy, or at least the recovery’.

But the truth is, there is no recovery. It’s just a scene in a play. And the economy is completely shot, it only appears to be left standing because the Fed poured oodles of money into it. Or rather, into a part of the economy that it can control, that it can get the money out of again easily: Wall Street banks. And Wall Street equals the Fed.

Charles Hugh Smith, in What If the Easy Money Is Now on the Bear Side?, notices that there are hardly any bears left in the market, and that shorts are disappearing as a source of revenue for bulls. Interesting, but he doesn’t yet connect all the dots. CHS thinks big money managers can make ‘the play’, that they can fool the rest of the market and unleash a tsunami that will bury the bulls.

I don’t think so. I think what goes on is that the Wall Street banks, many times bigger than the biggest money managers, see their revenues plunge. As they knew they would, because free money and ultra low rates are not some infinite source of income, since other market participants adapt their tactics to those things as well.

Which is what Charles Hugh Smith points to, but doesn’t fully exploit. And it’s not as Wolf Richter presumes either:

After years of using its scorched-earth monetary policies to engineer the greatest wealth transfer of all times, the Fed seems to be fretting about getting blamed for yet another implosion of the very asset bubbles these policies have purposefully created.

The Fed doesn’t fret. The Fed has known for years that the US economy is dead on arrival. They’ve spent trillions of dollars backed, in the end, by American taxpayers, knowing full well that it would have no effect other than to fool people into believing something else than what reality says loud and clear.

Philip Van Doorn, who I quoted two weeks ago, got quite a bit closer in Big US Banks Prepare To Make Even More Money

For most banks, the extended period of low interest rates has become quite a drag on earnings. Net interest margins – the spread between the average yield on loans and investments and the average cost for deposits and borrowings – are still being squeezed, since banks realized the bulk of the benefit of very low interest rates years ago

That is the essence, and that is why grandma will announce higher rates, against a backdrop of 4% GDP growth numbers and a plethora of other ‘great’ economic data and military chest thumping abroad.

The US economy is dead. The Fed has known this for a long time, but pumped it up to where it is now to draw in all the greater fools, the so-called big investors who have made money like honey from QE and ZIRP. They are the greater fools. The American real economy ceased being a consideration long ago.

We’re in for big surprises, and they won’t be pretty, they’ll be pretty nasty. There are far too many people who think of themselves as smart who don’t see the difference between a theater play and a reality show. And I don’t mean CHS or Wolf, they’re much more clever than your average investment advisor.

The Fed will raise rates because that will make the biggest banks the most money. There’s nothing else that matters. The Fed can’t revive the US economy, that’s just a foolish notion. But it can suck a lot of wealth out of it.